Monday, December 23, 2013

"A Chance Of Rain"

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch and Release, Fly Fishing Only!

"A Chance Of Rain"

"Winter's Hope" 
(Courtesy of  Marty Howard)
   We have had an uncommonly mild and dry autumn this year. The winter solstice week has brought us a little much needed rain, and the Olympic Peninsula coastal rivers are rising in flows today. The winter (hatchery run) steelhead season has been pretty slow out here so far, with only  a few fish caught off and on since Thanksgiving. Most attribute this to the low water we have had all of this past autumn. The winter solstice has brought back some moisture, and we have gotten some brief warm up periods, and a little rain, enough to stir things back to life. The weather pattern we are in right now may set us up for some good fishing conditions during the rest of the week, and possibly into the New Year.

"A chance of rain"

      It is a honking, blustery cold and windy winter day on the peninsula today. We expect it to be milder ahead, briefly anyway. Normally, November is the wettest month of the year here. This fall it just didn't go that way. Though this first week of winter feels pretty normal to me- a little wind and rain, some fresh water in the rivers, snow in the mountains, and an encouraging spell of weather to follow, and "a chance of rain", at least in the forecast. We hope the fish will follow suit. Sometimes when it's been a protracted period of low water, and once we do get some rain and stronger flows, the fish come upriver pretty quickly, perhaps quite a few. And these fish can be fun to catch. So maybe this will be just what was needed to get the fish moving, to shake out the cobwebs, and get us back on the rivers. Winter is the prettiest time of year here, the rain forest is so lush, green and vibrant. The jade colored waters entice.

"An endless series of occasions for hope"

     Good local bets for targeting the hatchery steelhead are going to be on the Sol Duc, Bogachiele, Calawah, Quillayute-  usually downriver of the hatcheries. And that is where you will run into all of the other people who are fishing for them too, on foot and in boats. Thick as thieves, thick as flies . . . And some of them will be just plain thick. I like to get away from all of that, and get upriver a little. Sometimes there are plenty of hatchery strain steelhead well upriver, especially early in the season, even in the rivers that do not have hatchery runs formally established on them.

   And you will encounter far fewer people.

   Remember that the Sol Duc river has been set aside for natural reproduction of wild steelhead now. And so hatchery strain steelhead smolt planting has ceased, as has the Snyder Creek Hatchery program. But on the Sol Duc River, being integral to the Quillayute River System, it is not at all surprising that we can still catch hatchery steelhead there.

Winter run.

   This is why I prefer walk and wade fly fishing here. It is not that I don't like rowing, I certainly do, and I have thousands of river miles behind me on many lower 48 rivers, here, in New England, in Alaska, and Kamchatka Russia too. But I feel that the boats are too many and the manners too few here. And that's not what I got into this game for. This is one of those unintended consequences of hatchery fish production- there is a tendency for people to take the fish, the rivers, and their fellow fishermen for granted. I try to see each one as a gift. And I hope that you will too. And please remember that when you are fishing with me- all wild fish are to be released without avoidable injury. So now, let's dust off our spey and Skagit rods, clean and lube our reels, sort out our sink tips and shooting heads, check all of our rigging knots and connections, make sure to have fresh new tippet and leader materials, then go spin up some really pretty and bright flies, and let's go fishing!

 Happy Holidays to you! 
Gift Certificate Trips available year-round!

"Last cast"

    We'll be walk and wade fishing these beautiful Olympic Peninsula rivers all winter.  Our early winter-run Steelhead are coming into the Olympic Peninsula coastal rivers with each spate that we are having, all through early winter so far. If you would like to plan a fishing date with me- do it well ahead of time. Winter sea-run Cutthroat beach trips as well.

Remember: Catch & Release, Traditional Fly fishing Only! 
    Beginners welcome. Full instruction available. Complete support assured. Use of equipment available. Picnic lunch and soft beverages provided. Celebrating over 33 years of international fly fishing adventures!

    Please call or write for booking details:

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA

Licensed Washington State Guide.
Certified Fly Casting Instructor.
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award.
U.S.C.G. Cert. BLS/BBP/HIV/CPR/First Aid.
Private and public presentations.
Row Boat Picnics on a local salmon estuary.

Telephone: 360-385-9618


Web: Little Stone Flyfisher

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